Wind Energy Development Feasibility Assessment
Find Powerpoint presentations and other reports about this project in the Document Center.
Tribal energy self-sufficiency has been a goal of the Lummi Nation since at least 1993. Regional energy demand is expected to grow steadily until at least 2020 and regional generation output is needed to keep up with this demand. Considering global climate change and the long-recognized need to shift energy generation capacity from hydrocarbon-based to renewable sources, a feasibility study of wind energy development on the Reservation is a critical step in planning for the future.
Although the available mapping and general observations indicated that wind power generation is feasible on the Reservation, site-specific wind measurements were needed to ensure a reasonable economic return prior to making the substantial capital investments associated with installing wind turbines and associated transmission infrastructure. Numerous other factors, such as cultural, socio-economic, natural resources, noise, aesthetics, and adjacent land uses also affect the feasibility of a wind energy project on the Reservation.
The overall goal of the Lummi Indian Reservation Wind Energy Development Feasibility Assessment Project, which was funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, was to determine if and at what cost wind energy development on the Reservation can help achieve the tribal goal of energy self-sufficiency. The primary questions that were addressed in this renewable energy assessment project were the following:
1. Is there enough wind on the Reservation to justify further pursuit of developing wind generation capabilities on the Reservation?
2. What are likely wildlife impacts associated with installing one or more wind turbines on the Reservation and what are practicable mitigation measures if there are unavoidable impacts.
3. What are the likely noise impacts associated with installing one or more wind turbines on the Reservation and what are practicable mitigation measures if there are unavoidable impacts.
Three contractors were hired to address these questions and on-site work started in December 2010.
The final report from the Wind Energy Feasibility Study was completed on Aug 31, 2012. It is now available in the Document Center.